CHAPTER TWO: Making Babywearing Dance Safer
We know that you care about creating a safe environment for wearing and dancing with your baby. Otherwise you probably wouldn’t be taking the time to read more about the topic! There are several key things to watch for to ensure that you are practising safe babywearing for dance and movement, in a class setting, and in your everyday life.
With right carrier for you and your baby, you’ll find that you have the freedom to move and dance and really enjoy yourself while attached to your little one. Steer clear of music with a beat that’s too fast, stay upright, and remember that you can always give baby additional support with your arms and hands. You might find that your favourite carrier just doesn’t work for larger movements and certain dance steps – keep looking for just the right one to enable you to move how you want while keeping baby safe and fully supported.
Consider seeking out a Babywearing Consultant or contact with your local Sling Library for advice and assistance for carrying your baby while dancing.
Safety first: Before putting on your carrier, make a visual check of your carrier or wrap’s fabric and buckles and where the straps meet the body, for signs of fraying, wear, or other structural defects. Do this every time you go to wear baby. Before you dance: always check that the floor is clear of any objects and potential trip hazards first.
Upright positioning: Baby should be wrapped snugly enough in her carrier that her back is fully supported and is in the recommended “J” shape. Baby should be positioned upright in the carrier, not leaning or slumped to one side or the other, and the carrier or wrap should keep baby in this position for the duration of the activity. Otherwise, the carrier is not adequately supporting baby. You may need to re-tie or adjust the carrier and you won’t be able to dance hands free until baby has been re-positioned in the carrier.
The right fit: Properly fit your carrier for you and your baby’s comfort and safety while you’re dancing. Review T.I.C.K.S, P.E.A.C.E and S.A.F.E babywearing and baywearing dance info-graphics for more details.
Safety in movement: Hold on to baby when bending slightly side to side and during all turns to support baby’s head and neck. Forward bends are never suitable for dancing with baby in a sling; stay upright at all times. Use your supporting hand to support baby’s neck and head, regardless of baby’s age. Too lively of dancing, fast turns, speedy fitness sets can cause baby to bounce up and down and can create a risk for shaken baby syndrome (SBS) in younger babies. Stick to low impact, gentle movements and support baby at all times.
Timing: If baby has just fed, take your time getting into the dance or movement. Give baby time to digest, or perform gentle movements with baby in the sling while monitoring her for at least 10 minutes due to an increased risk of vomiting. Check on baby’s airways, body temperature, position in the sling, and happiness in the carrier throughout as you dance.
Dance with Babies®: The Babywearing Dance Book
Copyright © 2018 Paula Dumas and Selen Yilmaz
Published by Move by Selen Yilmaz Ltd.
Copyrighted material. All rights reserved by MOVE by Selen Yilmaz LTD.
The contents of this book cannot be reproduced in part or in whole by any means, including but not limited to electronic, mechanical, photocopy, or digital recording, without written consent from the copyright owner.